pantry fetish

I will admit, I have one.

The pantry of my dreams.

Or maybe this one.

To be more specific: I have a clean-pantry fetish.

My sister-in-law will attest to my fixation, because—on one extended trip to her house in Boston—I basically took apart the contents of her entire kitchen, which involved placing 1,000-plus groceries in the living room and dining area while I analyzed the goods.

Her stockpile looked much like this.

And this.

I decided she did NOT need 7 different jars of ginger.  Even the ginger seemed happy to be freed from the back of a very high, very ignored kitchen cupboard.

The problem in SIL’s kitchen is the same problem I see in a lot of kitchens: Because people stash groceries in every available nook or cranny, they don’t know what they have and keep re-buying the same things over and over. Worse, they get a hankering for brownies and find themselves opening every cabinet in search of baking powder or cocoa.

Without wishing to sound like someone’s grandmother, I’m a believer in the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

It is for this reason (and, perhaps, some deeply-rooted OCD issues) that I line the shelves of my pantry with an assortment of airtight food-storage canisters, baskets, and old-fashioned glass jars.

My pantry. I mean, REALLY my pantry. Not perfect, but happy-making.

My glass jars. (Would you believe I don't own a label maker?)

Baskets hold baking goods. (And the water just looks cool when stacked. Unless you move the basket--in which case, they roll everywhere.)

I use this slim, little basket on the left for sauce packets and such. (Got it at an estate sale 20 years ago. For $1.)

My very favorite OXO Good Grips Pop containers...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them because they close beautifully, provide an airtight seal, and I no longer have marshmallows stuck together in a plastic bag…

Nor petrified brown sugar…

Or stale cereal…

Collecting these storage goodies can add up—especially if you go to a dedicated “organization” store, where you’ll likely spend so much money on specialized containers that you’ll no longer be able to afford the groceries that go in them. (Problem solved, I guess.)

So I tend to hit up a few different stores for my favorites:

Heritage Hill 2-gallon glass jar; $14.19,

OXO Good Grips Pop 10-Piece Set. $188 at Sears.

But the same 10-piece set sells for only $99 at Zappos with free shipping. I can’t explain the crazy price difference, but who’s arguing?

Lined Isabella baskets in varying sizes; $12.99-$19.99,

My husband would say that if I could put the family in a basket, I would.

And his point is?

Any other organizational fetishists our there? I’d love to hear your brilliant ideas…please share!

  • Zozzie Golden

    Loved the article on closets and containers. I love an organized closet….it’s a constant battle to keep it all together but it’s a real high opening up a door and seeing everything lined up like little soldiers.

    March 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm